Cruise and sightseeing tour!
Our journey through history begins at the Westminster Pier, in the shadow of Big Ben's tower and just a few steps away from Westminster Abbey, where kings and queens have been crowned for almost 1,000 years. This is also the pier closest to the Churchill Museum and the Cabinet War Rooms of the White hall, the centre of the national government and the Banqueting House - the last remaining building from the old Palace of the White hall.
Across the river, we will see the Houses of Parliament, County Hall, the headquarters of theLondon County Council. Below the water, the London Aquarium reveals the secrets of the deep, while above visitors and business people relax in the comfort of the Marriott Hotel.
A few yards downstream we see the Millennium Wheel, better known as the London Eye. In a 25-minute ride it offers spectacular views across London and far beyond.
Through the Jubilee and Hungerford foot bridges and Charing Cross railway bridge, the Royal Festival Hall recalls the post-war days when the river carried some 6 million people to celebrate the Festival of Britain at this very site.
To the north, the stunning office development above Charing Crosss station echoes the arched roof of the original Victorian terminus and testifies to the property value of «air rights» above the platforms, making a significant contribution to the railways' income.
After Waterloo Bridge we will see the Somer set House, the grand building on the north bank that was once the home of various government departments and is now a vibrant arts, heritage and entertainments centre.
Just beyond, on the opposite (south) bank, the OXO tower has recently gained a new lease of life with studios, restaurants and flats. The design was a clever — and successful — attempt to circumvent the ban on advertising along the riverside. Continuing the domestic theme, on the north side of Black friars Bridge, in the square mile of the «real» City of London, lies the home of Persil and many other household products, the head offices of the Anglo-Dutch commercial giant Unilever, next to the old City of London school for boys.
Beyond Blackfairs, look up the steps on the north bank for a view of St. Paul's Cathedral as we pass beneath the new Millennium Footbridge, which provides a pedestrian link with the Bank side, part of the South Bank regeneration development. Among the attractions in this area are theTate Modern art gallery and Sam Wannamaker's re-creation of Shakespeare's Globe theatre, the first building with a thatched roof to have been built in London since the great fire of 1666.
We will pass the South Bank, which is the heart of historic Southwark famed for its riverside pubs and the smallest of the capital's three cathedrals.
Through London Bridge a thrilling view unfolds: theTower o fLondon,Tower Bridge and the retired battle cruiser, HMS Belfast.
The Tower Bridge is one of London's newer bridges, opened in 1894 by Prince Albert after more than half a century of clamour by the City. All proposals for a bridge were resisted vigorously by the ship owners and merchants who needed free passage through the Pool of London. The resulting design is a typically British compromise, the upper level providing uninterrupted foot passage, carrying the way, is lifted to allow tall ships to pass.
On into Docklands: historic Wapping and Limehouse to the north,Bermondsey and Rotherhithe to the south. Many of the old docks have disappeared while those that remain now play host to yachtsmen, weekend sailors and narrowboats.`
We will see the river side pubs, once the haunts of seafarers, lightermen and dockers, now play host to local families, tourists and city workers - escaping from the Square Mile. Among the pubs, which retain their traditional charm are the Mayflower, where the Pilgrim Fathers moored their ship of the same name before setting off for the New World, the Angel, well known to Samuel Pepys in his days as head of the Admiralty, and the Grapes, one of Charles Dickens's favourite watering holes.
Join us on this faboules tour and make sure to get unforgettable memories from London!